Thiruvananthapuram: Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui, who will be accorded with the Life Time Achievement award in the 20th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), said that 99 per cent of art works are inspirations from other works.
"Art feeds on art. 99 per cent of works are inspirations from other works," said the legendary Iranian director, whose film package is being shown in a Retrospective segment. "How you transfer a work into a screenplay and then interpret it as a film is what is important, not that you have chosen one literary work or another."
During the 'In Conversation With' programme at Tagore theatre, Mehrjui spoke about his inspirations in the neo-realism of Italian directors Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, French director Jean-Luc Godard and Robert Bresson.
"My favourite film is Jean-Luc Godard’s 'Pierrot le Fou'," said Mehrjui. "It is pure cinema; it gives a new knowledge of life."
Mehrjui’s strong women characters, in films such as Hamoun (1990) and Sara (1993), is his statement against the forced oppression of women in society. "I wanted to show that they are not weak elements, but are individual with strong personalities, who can say no to the men who try to beat them down," said the director, who founded New Age film in Iran.
He said he went to the United States to study films and even though he witnessed Iran's change from the Shah’s rule to Ayatholla Khomeini’s, he never felt compelled to leave Iran, unlike other filmmakers. "I had offers when I went back to live in Los Angeles and in Paris," he said. "But I could not adopt myself to American film culture. I had to come back to my roots."